Draw Poker Rules


Draw Poker, also called 5-Card Draw, is the classic poker game, but in recent years, poker players have generally moved towards more complex poker games like Texas Hold'em, Omaha, and 7-Card Stud. As a result of the simpler rules, many casinos have taken Draw Poker out of the poker rooms, and have moved 5-Card Draw to the video poker machines. The rules are essentially the same for Video Poker and 5-Card Draw, except that in Video Poker, there is no opposing hand. Your hand is judged purely on its own merits.

How it's Played

draw poker online
In the table version of 5-Card Draw, each player places an ante, or an initial bet. Then each player is dealt five cards, face down. Starting at the dealer's left, and moving left back towards the dealer, each player chooses whether to call the bet – match it with their own bet, raise the bet to a higher bet, or fold – opt out of this round, losing any money already wagered. Depending on the casino rules, betting may be limited or unlimited in amount. Usually casinos allow three raises in a single betting round.

After completing the betting round, each player chooses how many cards to return to the dealer in exchange for new cards. Players may return up to three cards, but are not required to return any. If a player holds an ace, they may return all four of the other cards, but are generally required to show the ace.

After the cards are returned and the player draws new cards to replace the returned ones, there is another round of betting. When all bets have been made, there is a showdown. In the showdown, the player holding the best hand wins the wagers that have been made throughout the game, minus the rake. The rake is the percentage that the casino or poker room takes from the pot as a fee for allowing players to use their facilities.

Video Poker

Video Poker is a similar game, but it has no betting rounds, and is played to get the best possible hand, without comparison to any other hand. To play video poker, a player selects a Video Poker machine, and places a wager. The first five cards are dealt. The player chooses how many to keep, and then presses draw to exchange the remaining cards for new ones. The machine will have a payout schedule listed. If the hand meets the criteria for the payout schedule, the player will receive the indicated payout.

Two popular variants of Video Poker are Jacks-Or-Better and Deuces Wild. In Jacks-Or-Better, pairs of jacks, queens, kings, and aces win a payout, but lower pairs do not get any payout.

A sample payout schedule for Jacks-Or-Better:
Hand Payout
Jacks or Better (Pair) 1:1
Two Pair 2:1
Three of a Kind 3:1
Straight 4:1
Flush 6:1
Full House 9:1
Four of a Kind 25:1
Straight Flush 50:1
Royal Flush 250:1

Players should note that when all five coins are in play, a royal flush may pay a jackpot or a higher payout than when only 1-4 coins are in play.

The second major type of Video Poker that is found at most casinos is called Deuces Wild. Just like it sounds, twos are wild, and can be played as any card. As a result, getting a pair is much easier, so pairs and even two pairs don't pay anything. The schedule for Deuces Wild Video Poker is very different from the payout schedule for Jacks-Or-Better Video Poker.

See this sample payout schedule:
Hand Payout
Three of a Kind 1:1
Straight 2:1
Flush 3:1
Full House 4:1
Four of a Kind 4:1
Straight Flush 9:1
Five of a Kind 15:1
Wild Royal Flush 25:1
4 Deuces 200:1
Natural Royal Flush 250:1

Again, most casinos offer a better payout on a natural royal flush if the player has played all five coins. There a several other variants of Video Poker. The important thing is to look at the payout schedule before you play, so that you won't be surprised if you have what looks like a winning hand, but you don't win.

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